Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby carefactornil » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:23 am

Hi all,

This is a tale of caution about Home Depot, based on my experience of dealing with them last year. I & my team made the Syncytium Maze (between Burn Wall St & the Temple) and I chose Home Depot (Reno) to source all the build materials. Let me start by saying I’m based in the UK and have limited holiday time (and budget!) so choosing someone I could count on was paramount. We were also getting married at the Maze so there was some additional personal pressure around the project.

I chose Home Depot because my previous experience with the Las Vegas store in 2009 had been very positive and I wrote letters of commendation to the managers there.

The experience in 2012 was rather different and not in a good way. I’ll try and be concise/relevant but there’s a number of factors here that mean I wouldn’t use Home Depot again.

Firstly, I started planning this with Home Depot more than a year in advance. Right from the very start I explained that with me being overseas and having a large early entry team, the delivery date & time was critical. On this aspect it all looked good until the morning of delivery when it went horribly wrong. Despite countless emails and conversations about going with the truck, they sent the delivery truck ahead without us several hours early. So the truck was turned around unsurprisingly and we had to work out a new way of delivery as they couldn’t give us a new slot for 3 days. Luckily we found someone who would deliver 4 tonnes of wood at the last second (for a hefty price). Home Depot did help arrange this but it should never have happened. Ultimately I had to fork out $900 extra for that delivery. And in the end, they got the wrong size truck for the wood, so we had to source & wait for a forklift on the playa. I expected HD to offer to pay it all back but it was only after months of conversations and wrangling that they agreed to refund me this aspect. I was very unimpressed by that as it essentially jeopardized the whole project and a large team of people were left stranded in Reno for a day because of it.

2 days before I was due to show up and check the order (and weeks after paying a deposit on it), I was left an email saying that they couldn’t fulfil the bulk of the wood order so they had picked a substitute product and how would I like to pay for the $1000 difference. Predictably, after months of testing the exact wood I was going to use, I didn’t want a substitute and went through the roof. In the end, they found a proper substitute and they picked up the tab for the difference, but the amount of stress they put us through for a day of supposedly pre-wedding relaxation was awful.

There were other issues too. The wood order & cutting (admittedly a lot) wasn’t 100% accurate, so we ended up having to do cutting out on the playa – something I’d really wanted to avoid. They also (unbelievably) didn’t know how many screws were in a box and there was no labelling of numbers – just weight. Eventually we were told there was about 1000 in a box by someone, halfway through counting them by hand. We over-ordered (naturally) but on the playa found out that 1000 wasn’t right – nearer 600. So we had 40% less screws than we needed. The over-ordering helped but we were left running around other projects trying to scrounge spare screws.

Essentially, a year of very detailed planning and doing everything possible to mitigate all risks was pretty much written off by bad management at that Home Depot store. There were some nice, helpful staff in the store, but it seems clear to me that anyone wanting to plan and order by phone/email with them is going to be taking a big risk. If it had been just 1 thing it would have been bad but there were a number of things, all so easily avoided, that they got wrong and caused a huge amount of stress leading up to our wedding (which they knew about). They were fairly apologetic after, and did offer the money back I’d had to spend extra (after much discussion), but there was nothing to compensate for the stress and time wasted. Bottom line, I wouldn’t use them again and I’d warn other people off using them for an art project too, especially if having the right stuff ready at the right time is important.

I’ll end by saying I’m not a believer that all big corporations are bad and I don’t necessarily think that there’s fundamentally anything wrong with Home Depot. They were the cheapest option for wood in Reno, but as I found out, at a cost to my stress levels and team. But I think that the level of problems given to me to deal with and their attitude in handling afterwards sucked. If I’d been the manager, I’d have bent over backwards to make such a customer feel better about the service they had endured.

Happy to take any questions about it all & buyer beware.

“Cheese” Simon
London
UK
User avatar
carefactornil
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:55 am
Location: London, UK
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Syncytium

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:55 am

Which address of the HD? Is there a HD or other construction materials supplier that DPW works with? Which suppliers have vendor permits for the gate?

Sounds like there is a need in Reno for an in-person fixer/ facilitator to make a job for themselves for projects initiated remotely.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion
User avatar
some seeing eye
 
Posts: 992
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Location: The Oregon
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby jkisha » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:01 am

Imagine how bad it might have been if you hadn't done all the preliminary planning. Sounds like a typical playa story to me.
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
User avatar
jkisha
 
Posts: 11403
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby ygmir » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:17 am

bummer, really.
That said, one has to expect SNAFU's in any project of any size.
And I'm guessing, there were a LOT of parts involved, pieces, screws, etc.
At best, communicating all that, from afar, and getting a person, or people to do it all correctly, would be a challenge.
The lesson I take here, is not to expect anyone to do what you want, how you want it, when you want it. (if you want it done right,do it yourself).
Good on ya for pulling it off, and overcoming obstacles presented.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan
User avatar
ygmir
 
Posts: 25978
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Location: nevada county
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby EspressoDude » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:22 pm

sounds like any construction project. an on-site construction manager/expediter is needed.
Is 4 shots enuff? no foo-foo drinks; just naked Espresso
Tactical Espresso Service http://home.comcast.net/~espressocamp/
Field Artillery Tractor
FOGBANK, GOD OF HELLFIRE
BLACK ROCK f/x Trojan Horse,Anubis,2014Temple
burn shit and blow shit up
User avatar
EspressoDude
 
Posts: 4713
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:30 pm
Location: the first Vancouver

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Savannah » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:41 pm

Yikes! Good cautionary tale; thanks for sharing, Simon. That must have been maddening.

I wonder if a smaller store would have done it better? Considering that smaller places can't buy in the same volume as HD, the cost might have been stratospheric as the price hikes experienced with HD . . . but the service might have been better. No way to know, I suppose.

I wonder if it would be safe for someone in the same spot this year to depend on Yelp reviews (similar) for hardware in Reno--to find some smaller place with a decent number of reviews. A smaller place might be more focused and give better service, but have fewer resources (including those necessary to fix any mistakes).
*** 2013 Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle
User avatar
Savannah
Moderator
 
Posts: 10512
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:33 pm
Burning Since: 2000

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby ygmir » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:47 pm

it would seem the OP asked quite a bit to be done.
I think E.D. is on the right track, to get a local "supervisor" and have it over seen.
running a lumber yard, is hectic, and that is the busy time of year. Getting a probably big "cut list" and then questions of how many screws are in a box, could be "daunting". Add to that, not everyone understand how BRC works, and they probably tried to do good, by getting the truck there early, so you'd not wait. Just didn't work out that way.


Not saying, OP, you did anything wrong, or any such disrespect. I sort of think, What E.D. says is a much better way.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan
User avatar
ygmir
 
Posts: 25978
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Location: nevada county
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Savannah » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:54 pm

. . . I've definitely learned that, if anything.

1) Apparently one needs a project manager on the ground, far ahead of when you'd think you would.
2) A percentage of stuff will go wrong anyway.

I'm glad the OP eventually got refunded for the excess, though.
*** 2013 Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle
User avatar
Savannah
Moderator
 
Posts: 10512
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:33 pm
Burning Since: 2000

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby knowmad » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:19 pm

Simon.
Sorry to hear about your frustration. as lead admin and supply procurer for The Burn Wall Street Project I also Dealt with Home Depot Reno Quite a bit. Our experience with them was also frustrating at times I had a hard time reaching the Top layer of their Mgmt until I discovered their corporate acct management. they then began giving us better service when we explained to them the scope and needs of our project, the fact that we dropped thousands of dollars there prolly was the most influential. but I'm sure that a project of any size can find a coordinator that is willing to work with them.
Ygmir and EsspessoDude are quite right; Working from afar one needs Boots on the Ground(our project moved from Okland Ca. to Reno in July) The New Burner profiles should help ambitious project leaders such as you find knowledgeable burners to be your go-to-person where ever you chose to Stage your construction. On Playa Services is also another good way to get things done and to pass on ones knowledge and unused material.
............................................Image...........................................
Oh yeah, this year I was totally twerping out at the fence. ~Lonesombri
User avatar
knowmad
 
Posts: 3304
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:33 pm
Location: Puget Sound
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: 09-11 Specialist Clan
12 BWS BDV/DPB

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:55 pm

I'm a crane truck operator for a company that sells lumber and various supplies.
I also used to haul lumber for Home Depot. I did incoming stuff, not retail deliveries, but I know the guys who do them.
I'm not at all defending H-D, but I can explain some of the logistics involved here.

First of all, maybe it's different in Nevada (probably not though) but in Washington and Oregon, Home Depot does not do it's own deliveries. They used to, but stopped years ago. They rent the trailers and forklifts to private contractors who do the deliveries for them - more or less on their own schedule. That makes it difficult four H-D to guarantee exact arrival times; I can also tell you first-hand that it's literally impossible to guarantee truck arrival times for anything but the first one in the morning, there are just too many unpredictable variables. Ygmir is probably right, they most likely thought being early was a GOOD thing. In my experience, early is normally more popular with customers than late.

Burning Man is not a typical job site. The guy who was contracted to do the delivery certainly had no way of knowing he would be turned away, or he wouldn't have wasted his time and fuel on a goose chase.

I sell boxes of nails... by the pound. I have no idea how many nails are in a 5-pound box. Neither does anyone at the company. They come in different sizes, made of different metals, etc. and the number of nails that add up to 5 pounds will obviously be different depending on such factors. We don't pour out boxes of nails and count them.

This sounds like a case of neither side fully understanding the other side. I'm sure the H-D store manager wasn't any happier about trying to fill an order and ending up losing money overall on the deal. This kind of shit happens at my job too.

While we can do custom work (at a price - time and labor cost money) almost all the material I bring to job sites is cut to fit at the job site. That's just how it's done in the normal world.

I think the moral of your misadventure is that a local overseer would be the solution, I doubt any other outfit would be any better.
"Whaoomph! Whaomph! Burbbleburbblepattpattpattpatt... WHAAAAAaaoooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........!!!"
Top fuel dragster, by Elliot Naess
User avatar
Captain Goddammit
 
Posts: 4497
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Location: Seattle, WA
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: Camp Fuck The Vehicle Passes

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Elliot » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:14 pm

What they said. It is simply not realistic for regular-normal-people working in a high-pressure mass-marketing environment to achieve anywhere near 100% customer satisfaction.

This may be a bit different from England -- I don't know. But having lived both in Europe and the USA, I detect a quite different work environment here. Workers are pretty much considered to be expendable equipment. People come to work in the morning wondering if they will still have gainful employment at the end of the day. In-boxes overflow. Telephones ring. A big construction company who spends millions each year has a little problem -- that must be tended to before all else.

Front line management in a corporate store such as we are talking about have it worst. They have the corporation on one side, demanding more profit at pretty much any human cost; and the floor staff and customers on the other side, trying to get things done without getting hurt too badly.

Most everything in the USA runs on "the ten percent fudge factor". If you can achieve 90% of what's expected of you, all is wonderful. I'm inclined to believe that even the corporation does not want to achieve 100%, because it would cost so much to gain that last 10% -- it would not be cost effective.

Unfortunately, the population seems to accept that they will be disappointed 10% of the time. They are resigned to it. If good customer service comes more naturally in England, I can understand how you were a bit shocked. Americans enjoy a lot of positive features and elements in our society -- enough so that "the whole world" keeps trying to move here. But the cost is dire, and not counted in money.

Best of luck with your next project!
Elliot's Bicycle Service, Camel Saddlery and Beverage Salon 5 & G as before, probably.
Ali Elliot Fy Fasan, proprietor

Caravansary Black Rock 2014



ImageImageImage
Millicent The Bus; pedal-vehicles on Playa and in Kinetic Sculpture Races.
User avatar
Elliot
 
Posts: 5273
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:41 pm
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle & Beverage Emporium

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Milayna » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:28 pm

I had a couple very bad experiences with Home Depot here in Los Angeles when trying to get all of my materials together. This was on a MUCH MUCH smaller scale, as I was just buying for my own personal camp but it was nonetheless frustrating enough that I swore off Home Depot and will only deal with Lowes now. HD literally cancelled my orders 3 TIMES, each time on the day I was supposed to pick it up. Then they were extremely rude about it on top of all of that. Lowes on the other hand got the order right the first time, and even offered extra assistance. Obviously this will vary from location to location but my experience was bad enough I won't be back to HD.
User avatar
Milayna
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:21 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:32 pm

Yeah.. I have to admit..

Lowe's > Home Depot

The prices are usually cheaper and I feel like I get better service there.
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
User avatar
junglesmacks
 
Posts: 5809
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 9:54 pm
Location: Orlando, FL/Kailua, HI
Camp Name: Your mom's tent

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby ACfromSAC » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:38 am

I'm glad it all worked out in the end, even with the added stress. Your maze last year was one of my all time favorite projects and definitely the most difficult maze I've ever walked through. Thanks for all of the hard work.
User avatar
ACfromSAC
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:14 pm
Burning Since: 2017

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby carefactornil » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:30 pm

Hi All,

Quite a few points I feel worth responding to here.

Firstly, the store was the one at:
PASA
STORE 3304
2955 NORTHTOWNE LANE
RENO,NV 89512

The store manager was [removed by Mod - do not post people's names in a complaint on ePlaya. Direct that to the store or corporation, not here]. I never met him as he had a medical issue when I was in town. Most of my communication was by email over the preceeding year (being out of town) but I did call the store a few times to clarify things. One of his comments afterwards in trying to address it all afterwards was that I should have spoken more with him directly. My response was that if you offer an email & phone call customer service with a "Pro Desk" then that shouldn't be a 2nd class service (and if it is, let people know... :roll: )

In terms of some seeing eye's comment, my understanding is that HD do have a special relationship with BM/gate. They would have been allowed into the city and to drop off the order at the build site if we'd been with them - it had all been arranged and Bettie June at the Artery had been great about sorting all that out. In fact she was even greater in helping to come up with a plan B at the last minute. Do bear in mind that to some degree I'd anticipated the delivery issue which is why some of the team were in place in the store 24 hours ahead of scheduled departure to check and go over everything. Everything seemed to be fine. Apart from have some people camp overnight at the store on top of the order and make sure the order didn't leave the grounds unattended the next day I'm not sure what else we could have done to prevent that one without hindsight.
An in-town facilitator for all the big art projects might help but at the same time that's not too radically self-reliant and I did plan to be all over this in Reno.

knowmad - Thanks for the tip about corporate accounts, something well worth bearing in mind for the future with projects of this magnitude. I can't even really imagine what it's like to run a project the size of Wall St! Kudos to your team for pulling it off.

Captain Goddammit - thanks for your view too. You're correct, HD use an external company to do the delivery, so what you're saying makes sense. But in my very earliest conversations with HD (about a year in advance), I made it crystal clear that because of my location and when our team would be in Reno (flights booked), they HAD to commit to a particular delivery date. I let them dictate the time, just not the date. I said multiple times "If you can't do this, just tell me and I'll look elsewhere". Throughout a long string of communication and even with us being on site in Reno 2 days before I was only ever told the delivery plan was all fine. I'd repeatedly explained that the ONLY way the delivery would work is if someone was there to let them in and that they were being granted a special privilege to enter the city this way. HD and Burning Man is not a new relationship - they know that unless there's someone there to take a delivery it will be turned around, no exceptions, and that's never in anyone's interests. They knew we were all in Reno. For them to screw this up is just bad communication and in a relationship of this importance (between HD & the delivery company) that's just not on, no excuses.

ygmir - yep, there's always SNAFU's but with the amount of planning, communication and prep I did with this store I think the particular ways they let us down was really taking the biscuit (and I've only listed the major ones). If they had handled this well AFTER the event I wouldn't be on here telling people about it. The manager even said "What can I do to make this right" a number of times. I told him I didn't want to dictate that, and they should do what they felt was appropriate. So they suggested a relative pittance which didn't even vaguely cover my unnecessary additional expense. I said "Don't bother" to which they replied again, "so what do you want?" Feeling forced to answer this, I said, you have to refund the money you costed me. But what would be an excellent customer service gesture would be to refund my team a day of their time which would really engender some goodwill to a soured relationship. Because of their delays, we ended up building all Monday when we should have finished on Sunday. Of course, the team knew nothing of my suggestion and would have probably said "no worries, we're burners, we were happy to help" but I felt bad that they'd lost a day of the event. Bearing in mind some of these people had travelled from across the US and many from the UK who have limited holiday and were partly there for my wedding. I told HD that if they didn't do anything above reimburse me for my excess expenditure, then it was going to leave a bad taste in my mouth and I'd be vocal about that within the burner community. They chose to just reimburse and not a dollar more. It really wouldn't have taken that much to turn me around and make me feel better about it. I shouldn't have had to work so hard just to get my additional delivery fee refunded (months!). If I was in charge of a HD store in Reno and knowing the burner community and how much revenue it brings in, I'd have made damned sure that if this happened on my watch that customer walked away feeling as good as they could, even if that single transaction meant a hefty loss. You only have to look at what happened with Krug, plus other similar examples, to see what kind of negative brand image a company can get through a perceived uncaring attitude.

Also, whilst the order was quite big ($5k) it was essentially pretty simple in terms of components and their prep. There were only 2 components. OSB boards and 2x3 lumber, just a lot of it. Some of it needed cutting and 98% of that was done right. So not too big a deal, IMHO. All the other stuff we organised ourselves in the store with carts.

If I had a local supervisor in Reno I sure would have used them. But unfortunately all my US crew were dotted around all over the place and I didn't really want to use someone I didn't know/trust. I'm sure I could have found someone through the community but there really wasn't much more they could do than we did - it was pretty simple compared to some orders. And we did have people on the ground in the store 2 days before we were due to leave.
We did liaise with some burners based in Reno who pointed us at a place we could use as a temporary workshop which was useful though.
I think it's fair to say that some of the "challenges" we dealt with were because this was run from the UK and used a group that spread well into various US states. But at the same time, most of the big issues we dealt with were because of a poor communication structure within HD.

So in retrospect, maybe a local person in Reno would have helped and that's certainly something to bear in mind for the future. I also think the Burner Profiles/Community will help with this. Perhaps having someone in Reno (and beyond) offer to work across and with the major art projects and help pool and co-ordinate deliveries would be really cool - I'd certainly tap into that if available, being overseas.

Of course we had all sorts of usual SNAFUs and incidents during the build and almost all those were overcome by typical burner attitude. We had a number of fantastic, talented, completely unknown guys just walk up and say "tell me what you need me to do" and work for 2 days, all the usual stuff that makes your heart melt and what BM is all about.
And at the end of the day, it was still a great experience, we achieved something really cool and I got to hear some kids come out of the maze and run to their waiting parents and say "Mom! That was the coolest thing EVER! Can we do it again tomorrow at night!?" You don't get a greater buzz than hearing things like that.

Thanks also to ACfromSAC, that's a great compliment to a maze designer!

And to end on another positive note, it's not put me off doing projects like this co-ordinated from the UK. This year I'll just do some music videos (as if the maze & wedding wasn't enough, we did the "Burning Man Has a Kiki" & "Imagine" music videos in 2012...) and be a volunteer for a change to have that experience. But I'm already working on our large-scale, interactive 2014 project. Right now it looks virtually impossible to pull off, just from a design perspective, let alond build. Which just makes it more appealing... :wink:

Thanks for the responses everyone!
User avatar
carefactornil
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:55 am
Location: London, UK
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Syncytium

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Drawingablank » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:10 pm

junglesmacks wrote:Yeah.. I have to admit..

Lowe's > Home Depot

The prices are usually cheaper and I feel like I get better service there.


In most of the country Lowes customer service seems to be superior, but here on Long Island it's the opposite usually.

I do prefer to shop at Lowes for one main reason though - their lumber seems to be much better quality. For some reason HD lumber is always so warped and twisted.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

Yet Another Crappy Birgin Guide
User avatar
Drawingablank
 
Posts: 2018
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:46 pm
Location: NY
Camp Name: Barbie Death Camp

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:33 pm

Anyone else remember when the Emeryville Home Despot was sued for treating an ftm like shit? They backed down or lost, but it's something I remember.
Simon's real sig line?

Embrace the Sock

Winners never quilt, quilters never win...
User avatar
theCryptofishist
 
Posts: 37396
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:28 am
Location: In Exile
Burning Since: 2017

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Celery (Jamey) » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:07 pm

When putting together a huge order working with Lowe's, HD or any of the other options... Always use the screws to negotiate a better price. They are the highest markup item in the store (900%), so they will always cut you a deal on the screws. ALWAYS!

No matter which one you choose (I've worked for both), orders and deliveries are a hit or miss proposition... Kinda like most things I suppose.
Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
~ Albert Einstein
User avatar
Celery (Jamey)
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:47 am
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Orphan Eaters

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby LittleJack » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:13 pm

First of all, THANK YOU! That maze was one of my favorite things I've ever done at Burning Man. It wasn't widely publicized, we just stumbled across it and decided to give it a quick walk-through. Ha! By the time I realized that it was taking us a long time to get through it, I was so enthralled with the game that I didn't care. The design was brilliant, with the use of the doors and the multiple levels, and touching all 4 colors added yet another challenge. The experience encompassed so many of the things I love about Burning Man - the serendipitous way we found it, and that it was completely interactive, radically inclusive, and participatory. Loved loved LOVED it!

Now, unfortunately, I must share another warning about Home Depot. There's been a scam happening at a number of the HD stores, including the one by me. Here's how the scam works:

Two seriously hot, busty, and charming 20-something girls come over to your car as you are packing your shopping into the trunk. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts. It is impossible not to look.

When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No' and instead ask you for a ride to McDonalds.

You agree and they get into the back seat. On the way, they start undressing. Then one of them climbs over into the front seat and starts crawling all over you, caressing and kissing you, while the other one steals your wallet.

I had my wallet stolen January 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th & 29th. Also February 1st & 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, & 26th, three times last Monday and very likely again this upcoming weekend.

:)
--------
I like my coffee like I like my women: strong, earthy and full bodied!
User avatar
LittleJack
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 2:20 pm
Location: Alameda, CA
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Hushville

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Elliot » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:50 pm

:lol:
YAY! indeed!
Elliot's Bicycle Service, Camel Saddlery and Beverage Salon 5 & G as before, probably.
Ali Elliot Fy Fasan, proprietor

Caravansary Black Rock 2014



ImageImageImage
Millicent The Bus; pedal-vehicles on Playa and in Kinetic Sculpture Races.
User avatar
Elliot
 
Posts: 5273
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:41 pm
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle & Beverage Emporium

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby 1durphul » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:37 pm

carefactornil wrote:Hi All,

yada... yada...

Also, whilst the order was quite big ($5k)

yada... yada...



Wow you've really put these guys through the ringer over some honest mistakes, on what in their eyes was probably not a big order. I suspect for Home Depot that the word "big" doesn't really come to mind until orders reach the $10k or $20k level. Sure it would be big for the store front, but for the large projects they probably provide for it isn't a huge order for them.

The worst thing I could find them guilty of is some poor oversight, and perhaps over promising on their ability to deliver based on a tight schedule.

You have to consider very few of the people working at HD are trying to make a career out of it. The manager maybe, but below him in a store that probably has a few hundred employees there are maybe another 3 or 4 people who plan to spend the remainder of their career working at HD. As a result you're going to experience a certain amount of indifference about perfectly carrying out *any* large task.

All that said, they should have been upfront with you about their ability to deliver on their promises.
User avatar
1durphul
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:14 pm

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Elorrum » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:37 pm

1durphul wrote:You have to consider very few of the people working at HD are trying to make a career out of it. The manager maybe, but below him in a store that probably has a few hundred employees there are maybe another 3 or 4 people who plan to spend the remainder of their career working at HD. As a result you're going to experience a certain amount of indifference about perfectly carrying out *any* large task.

All that said, they should have been upfront with you about their ability to deliver on their promises.

Is this how we really feel about our friends, neighbors, and young adults, working in retail? "Don't expect much more than shit from them...?" I say, hold your standards, but don't be a dick about it. There are still a lot of people in big box who do give a fuck about what they do, and it isn't the career folks you can always count on. You pay for a service, expect it, but be reasonable, especially if you are doing it from another country. People don't go above and beyond for customers who look down on them.
What's the name of the act? The Aristocrats.
User avatar
Elorrum
 
Posts: 4472
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:09 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby ranger magnum » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:05 pm

This lack of service seems to be the norm for HD. I recently installed about 800 feet of tile for a client, who insisted upon not only supplying their own tile, but purchasing it at HD. I advised them this was a mistake for several reasons. First and foremost when installing tile in any quantity, it is paramount to have all the tile come from the same lot. Color and size can vary from lot to lot. Home Depot gets away with cheap tile prices because they buy all the odd lots from the manufacturers. Since they take returns on tile up to 6 months after purchase, there is no way to keep track of all the lots of the various tiles they stock.

My clients ordet consisted of 2 pallets of tile. HD simply did store transfers from as many stores as it took to fill the order. Needless to say, the tile that arrived had huge variation in size and color. When confronted with this, the 20 something gal behind the counter told me its impossible to get that much tile in one lot no matter where you buy it. I told her I have been in the trades since before she had hair on her cha-cha, and that not only is it possible, its as easy as placing a call the the manufacturer and ordering it. It took me many hours to finally get to the right person who would not only realize there was a problem, but actually take the necessary steps to correct it.

Long story longer, it took the Depot over a month to get the tile in. During this time, the house was unliveable, as we tore up all the flooring and made a proper mess. In the end, all they were willing to do was deliver it for free.

Nearly everything at the depot is at or below builder-gade quality. Even simple 3/8 18 bolts are crap. But thats another story....
Drugs may take you down the road to nowhere, but at least its the scenic route.
ranger magnum
 
Posts: 406
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:05 pm
Location: santa barbara
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: Camp Yonder/Ottoman Empire

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:14 am

Did you really tell that girl that you had been in the trade since before she had pubes? Because that's really gross behavior.
Simon's real sig line?

Embrace the Sock

Winners never quilt, quilters never win...
User avatar
theCryptofishist
 
Posts: 37396
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:28 am
Location: In Exile
Burning Since: 2017

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Savannah » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:11 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Did you really tell that girl that you had been in the trade since before she had pubes? Because that's really gross behavior.


Seriously, if someone said that to me while I was just trying to work customer service I would vomit in surprise.

Hopefully on his shoes, not mine.
*** 2013 Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle
User avatar
Savannah
Moderator
 
Posts: 10512
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:33 pm
Burning Since: 2000

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby Celery (Jamey) » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:17 pm

Elorrum wrote:
1durphul wrote:You have to consider very few of the people working at HD are trying to make a career out of it. The manager maybe, but below him in a store that probably has a few hundred employees there are maybe another 3 or 4 people who plan to spend the remainder of their career working at HD. As a result you're going to experience a certain amount of indifference about perfectly carrying out *any* large task.

All that said, they should have been upfront with you about their ability to deliver on their promises.

Is this how we really feel about our friends, neighbors, and young adults, working in retail? "Don't expect much more than shit from them...?" I say, hold your standards, but don't be a dick about it. There are still a lot of people in big box who do give a fuck about what they do, and it isn't the career folks you can always count on. You pay for a service, expect it, but be reasonable, especially if you are doing it from another country. People don't go above and beyond for customers who look down on them.

We can't all be wonderful. At least not all the time.
I feel the need to point out the inaccuracies of your statement. I can only speak to the two dozen or so Depot and Lowe's stores I've worked in, so my numbers may not represent the overall but it's a pretty good sampling.

Most of the stores average between 100 and 200 year round employees and usually carry about 50-100 additional 'seasonal' employees who mostly only last the 90 day probation period and are then replaced by another probie so they don't have to pay bennies on the extra hundred employees they only need for half a year. They will hire 200+ employees over a 5 month period to fill those ~75 positions. Noting that most of the seasonals will try their best in the hopes of being offered a permanent position at the end of their 90 days.

It's the core group of year-round permanent employees where you really missed the mark though. So let's make an imaginary Lowe's-Depot store since so many people have worked for both including about a quarter of the store managers I've dealt with. Ok, so we'll have 100 permanent employees in our imaginary store. Now I'm not sure what your criterion are for the word, "Career", but first I'd like to look at number of years spent working at the store. My numbers will be guesstimated averages from my observations but I bet I'm pretty close.
5 of the employees have spent more than 20 years working for Lowe's Depot
15 more have been there for at least 15 years
25 have been there 10 years
25 more at least 5
That leaves only a third of the employees having been there 5 years or less and probably only 10 of them are in their first year.

Ok, so number of years spent at a job isn't career path? Right. So let's look at it from the point of view of the company ladder. Under every store manager are half a dozen assistant store managers. Before they were ASM's, they were one of the 20 or so Department Managers. The next rung has ~20 sales specialists who used to make commissions and spiffs on their sales but both companies have put a stop to that. Then there are 5 "Pro's" and the CSA's (And there are 4 levels of customer service associate). About 80% of the people who have the word Manager in their title are in it for the long haul as are probably two thirds of the specialists. When any one of the manager positions opens up, at least 25 people in the store will apply for it along with 50 more from other stores or outside the company. Does a desire to climb the company ladder denote a career?

One last thing I will mention in this changing job market towards the post-manufacturing service economy is the broad demographic of the people you are insulting. The ages of the people at the stores tend to shake out like this...
Again, based on a store with 100 employees:
5-10 are more than 60 years old... and no, there's no wallmart greeter at Lowe's-Depot (I have a friend who will turn 70 this year and he does the most physically demanding and dangerous job in the store!)
At least 25 of the 100 are over 50
50 more are in their 30's and 40's which leaves room for only 25 kids mostly in their twenties and maybe 5 teenagers. It's worth noting that of the ~20 twentysomethings, 5 of them are already managers at some level. I've even met one store manager who was still in his 20's.


Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
~ Albert Einstein
User avatar
Celery (Jamey)
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:47 am
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Orphan Eaters

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby chiefdanfox » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:18 pm

With all due respect: OP phoned it in, and it mostly happened. Only in America. Try that in Greece, or France, or England. YMMV.
User avatar
chiefdanfox
 
Posts: 740
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:14 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby 1durphul » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:31 pm

Celery (Jamey) wrote:
Elorrum wrote:
1durphul wrote:You have to consider very few of the people working at HD are trying to make a career out of it. The manager maybe, but below him in a store that probably has a few hundred employees there are maybe another 3 or 4 people who plan to spend the remainder of their career working at HD. As a result you're going to experience a certain amount of indifference about perfectly carrying out *any* large task.

All that said, they should have been upfront with you about their ability to deliver on their promises.

Is this how we really feel about our friends, neighbors, and young adults, working in retail? "Don't expect much more than shit from them...?" I say, hold your standards, but don't be a dick about it. There are still a lot of people in big box who do give a fuck about what they do, and it isn't the career folks you can always count on. You pay for a service, expect it, but be reasonable, especially if you are doing it from another country. People don't go above and beyond for customers who look down on them.

We can't all be wonderful. At least not all the time.
I feel the need to point out the inaccuracies of your statement. I can only speak to the two dozen or so Depot and Lowe's stores I've worked in, so my numbers may not represent the overall but it's a pretty good sampling.

Most of the stores average between 100 and 200 year round employees and usually carry about 50-100 additional 'seasonal' employees who mostly only last the 90 day probation period and are then replaced by another probie so they don't have to pay bennies on the extra hundred employees they only need for half a year. They will hire 200+ employees over a 5 month period to fill those ~75 positions. Noting that most of the seasonals will try their best in the hopes of being offered a permanent position at the end of their 90 days.

It's the core group of year-round permanent employees where you really missed the mark though. So let's make an imaginary Lowe's-Depot store since so many people have worked for both including about a quarter of the store managers I've dealt with. Ok, so we'll have 100 permanent employees in our imaginary store. Now I'm not sure what your criterion are for the word, "Career", but first I'd like to look at number of years spent working at the store. My numbers will be guesstimated averages from my observations but I bet I'm pretty close.
5 of the employees have spent more than 20 years working for Lowe's Depot
15 more have been there for at least 15 years
25 have been there 10 years
25 more at least 5
That leaves only a third of the employees having been there 5 years or less and probably only 10 of them are in their first year.


One last thing I will mention in this changing job market towards the post-manufacturing service economy is the broad demographic of the people you are insulting.





First, no insult was meant. Was only pointing out that many/most people see employment at a big box store (of any type from Home Depot to JC Penny's) as a point on the way to something else, while others aren't particularly looking to make a career of anything anywhere and are more or less floating through the "career" aspect of adult life. So while 2/3's of the employees on the "permanent/full time" side might have been there for more than 5 years a percentage of them aren't particularly attached to the job and are only there because they haven't yet decided to move on. (That's going to be true of just about any work place actually whether it is congress or a gas station.) You also have to consider that big box stores draw some retired folks who's careers have technically "ended" and are just looking to work during the day to get themselves out of their spouses hair (who has also retired and now they both find they drive each other crazy when they spend all day together. In fact, Walmart Greeters seem to be largely from this subgroup of available workers.)

Blah blah blah, the work force that makes up a store like Home Depot is going to be made up of all sorts. As you stated as many as half could be "seasonal" part time employees who have one foot in the exit from the day they start. Then you have another half that is comprised of all sorts, everything from unintentional "lifers" to career minded individuals that want to move up the management chain, to retirees just trying to find something to keep themselves busy.

Ultimately if I were going to criticize my own stated opinion it would be that just because an employee is not career minded at an establishment it doesn't mean they don't care about doing things well while they are at that job.
User avatar
1durphul
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:14 pm

Re: Home Depot - a tale of caution for art projects

Postby dj_john69 » Thu May 23, 2013 6:33 pm

The Home Depot on Northtowne Lane SUCKS ASSHOLE !!! That's the original HD in Reno and it's beat down and out dated. You'll find the WORST customer service out of all the HD's around the area !!! Google other HD's around Reno and go there...avoid that mess at the Northtowne Lane HD !!

I've been going there since it first opened and it used to be a great place to shop at...not anymore though. I avoid that place like the plague.

As for ordering a BIG stack on lumber for a project, do some research and you'll find some great options from mom and pops lumber yards close by that LOVE dealing with us Burners. Support therm before you support HD or Lowes !!!
Fuck you, fuck you...you're cool, fuck you !!
dj_john69
 
Posts: 548
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:18 pm
Location: Nevada
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: Root Society & Osiris & BRS


Return to Q & A Tips and Tricks

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: EmilyD, Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests